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6600 Maynard Farm Road

Chapel Hill, NC 27516









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Jennifer Swanson

Lynn Leath and NorthStar Training Center has a wealth of experience and an extraordinary attention to detail that helps her effectively identify the training needs of her students and their mounts.  She has the uncanny ability to teach the right thing at the right time.   When coaching a student through a new skill or concept, she can not only describe what she wants you to understand in fine detail, she can also link the skill, technique or exercise back to the big picture and your goals in dressage.  If you struggle with understanding or replicating a desired exercise, she will patiently re-introduce the concept in a different way:  This is how it looks... this is how it feels... this is how it works… this is how it fits in with what you know… this is how you will use it today...and this is how you will use it in the future.  She is truly a gifted coach, trainer and instructor.

I began working with Lynn Leath in late 2015.    Within just a few months of joining “Team North Star", I earned my last score for bronze and started to change my performance goals  from “just hoping to break 60” to striving for excellence and dreaming of FEI.   During my second year with Lynn, I qualified for Regional Championships in 3 different divisions and earned a National Championship and Reserve in the USDF All-breeds rankings.  These were all achievements that I never previously would have thought possible, but Lynn’s remarkable teaching ability raised my riding ability and my standards to a different level.
When the situation calls for it, Lynn can be tough, demanding and strict in her expectations--- but she never asks you or your horse for more than she believes you can do.  She is also kind and encouraging when the moment calls for it.  I came to North Star Training Center a very timid rider and to be honest, I can be kind of a “wuss” but Lynn has always been supportive when I needed it the most.  Hence, my confidence and the joy I experience while riding has grown tenfold under her tutelage.  Finally, I personally admire Lynn for her commitment to her own ongoing development.  Even with all her talent and achievements--she never rests on her laurels.  She constantly seeks new learning from talented visiting clinicians and always supports her students in doing the same.   Working with Lynn Leath is really the best of all worlds.
Lynn and I first teamed up in 1999 to help her mare, Stripteeze Artist, get back to full-performance. I could tell immediately that Lynn was very serious about her work; she wanted to understand every detail regarding our diagnostic plan and treatment strategy for "Stripper".

I have always been a big believer in client education, with the opinion that riders who are intimately aware of their horses' physical health will be more successful in their respective discipline. Lynn also carries this conviction, not only for her own horses but those of her students. She is an integral part of all of the work that we conduct at North Star Training Center, and together we have raised the standard of performance of each horse participating in her program.

In addition to being my professional partner, Lynn has also been an effective teacher. Since the majority of my early veterinary experience was related to racing performance/surgery, my knowledge of dressage was somewhat limited. Lynn has helped me to better understand the discipline of dressage, which in turn has greatly enhanced my ability to serve our clients. Our practice has since evolved to encompass almost 85% dressage competitors.

We are proud to have Lynn as our "go-to" dressage trainer, and frequently refer client inquiries and requests to her realm of expertise. I can trust Lynn's judgement and know that she will handle each situation with the utmost professionalism and concern.

Dr. Bob Gisel


Lynn Leath excels as an instructor and trainer.  I have seen her take students and horses of moderate talent to accomplishments far beyond what one would have expected, as well as taking highly talented students and horses to their full potential.   Lynn is an extremely good communicator and she  is extremely good at analyzing problems and solving them.  She understands the basic causes of resistances and has the tools to correct them.  She is able to bring out the best in horse and rider in an efficient, safe and friendly environment and personally oversees the complete needs of the horses in her care.

    Cathy Morelli

If you want to do dressage, I can’t think of a better person to do it with than Lynn Leath.

A good friend, a great teacher. I first met Lynn in 2001 and in the years since, I have come to realize what a unique and special person she is.  There is just no one out there who is better at training and teaching this sport.

Lynn is a true professional in every regard - from assessing and challenging each rider to developing a sensible program for each horse and rider combination. She respects and empathizes with riders of all levels. She is honest, kind and considerate.

 It is amazing to me that, as an adult learner, Lynn has achieved all that she has.  I also think that’s what makes her unique. I have never seen anyone who can so doggedly hunt down the answer to a question or come up with a solution to a problem. I have seen her truly help riders who were at dead ends or felt they were stuck in a place with no way out.

If you want to advance in this sport and are willing to work hard but also have some fun at the same time, Lynn Leath is your solution.


Terry Sosa

I have been riding with Lynn since 1995 and she has taught me everything I know about dressage. The most significant and most challenging part of this journey has been the time I spent riding and competing a wonderful Grand Prix schoolmaster named Doublet. When I bought Doublet I was a “struggling” second level rider who knew nothing about the higher levels of dressage, not to mention any real aspirations to get there.  So, it is safe to say that I did not know what I was getting myself into when I bought him, but Lynn had a grand plan!  In the end that horse took me all the way to Grand Prix, with many big accomplishments along with way!  

But it was far from easy!  Having a nearly perfect horse for a teacher is not the full recipe for success.  You also need a great coach that can provide you a program that fits your specific short term and long term needs, and that is exactly what Lynn did for me.  Lynn had to push me to challenge myself mentally and physically, overcome my fears, and take full advantage of the opportunity I had with Doublet.  She has taught me how to refine my skills to the minute level you need to ride at the FEI levels.

And this entire experience set me up to buy my next horse with Lynn that was the total opposite of Doublet in every way: a five-year old Dutch warmblood mare with little training on her.  Not exactly what I was looking for.  But again, I trusted in Lynn when she said “I needed to buy this horse”, even though I was not really sure I knew what I was getting into…again!  But this horse turned out to be one sensational horse that I simply fell in love with (as did just about everyone else).  And along with Lynn, I continued to improve my skills as a rider, but this time adjusting to this very different, very sensitive and dynamic horse.  Something I truly believe I could not have done if I did not have the years of experience with Doublet under me.  And all of this…I could not have done without the guidance, help and support of Lynn all along the way!

" I have been a student of Lynn’s since 1995 and we have shared many laughs and good times over the years.  A part of Lynn’s teaching style that I deeply respect is her honesty.  She takes the time to give good, honest feedback.  If there is work to be done to improve she will let you know in a way that is encouraging.  And when Lynn says something is good, you know it is good.

Lynn’s attention to the smallest of details is key to her success and that of her students and she willingly shares this information.  In addition to learning how to ride, I have learned how to show my horse, ride accurate tests and present them to the judge in a professional manner.  I especially enjoy schooling the tests because she helps you develop a strategy for each move, sometimes down to the stride. I always feel prepared entering the show arena.

Lynn loves to see her students succeed and puts in the effort to make it happen.  I have ridden with her in 20°F and 100°F, during thunderstorms (thank goodness for the covered arena) and snow storms, at 7am and at 7pm.  She works her schedule around your needs and is dependable.  I don’t ever recall her canceling a lesson.  

Donna Christopher
Lynn has students competing at all levels (training level through I1) on a wide range of horses with respect to breeding and talent. She has students with young horses, some with schoolmasters, others with horses from home breeding programs and even a few ponies.
Lynn has given me a correct foundation in the basics, and helped me to become a more independent rider. I am able to learn and progress, even without constant supervision, because of the solid education that Lynn has provided – I know when things are going right, and when it’s time to make a change. I keep my horses at home, so I school on my own, and often attend clinics and shows by myself. These experiences are fun and constructive because Lynn has given me the knowledge and confidence to find my own way when I need to.

Lynn has also enabled me and my mare to learn and progress together as a team. Neither of us came to her with the benefit of prior experience. This posed a tremendous challenge for Lynn –to train a green rider on a green horse. But Lynn succeeded in providing us both with the guidance and support that allowed us to graduate from green-as-grass to FEI.  Lynn was able to train me, and then to train my horse “through” me, giving me maximum time and experience in the saddle, and still helping my horse to learn.

Lynn has also taught me the importance of feeling balance and harmony with my horse. As my riding has progressed, my mare, Magda, has grown increasingly fit, beautiful, and happy in her work. Even as the training demands have intensified, she has become more enthusiastic and ride-able. Every training session is a pleasure. And my young horse is following in the mare’s hoof prints!

Liz Bromberg
Lynn is a positive and supportive instructor. She provides constructive feedback, helps define realistic goals, and has gently encouraged me and my horses to learn and progress well beyond my expectations.

Katherine Christopher



I’m an active competitor in 3 Day Eventing and have been riding with Lynn since 2012 at the age of twelve. She has helped me tremendously in the dressage arena over the years. Lynn has coached me from naughty ponies who wouldn’t bend or go on the bit, to serious horses. No matter the mount, she always adjusts to the set of circumstances at hand, and helps me to move forward and improve. Over the years I have successfully advanced from Beginner Novice to the CCI* level in eventing. I have top finishes at each level thanks to Lynn’s precise detail in how to be effective during every movement in the dressage ring. During each test I ride, I always think back to Lynn’s tips in order to ride the best test possible.

What’s most special about Lynn is the way she explains how to accomplish a certain movement or how to fix it. She does so in a way that is both encouraging and effective. Her explanations allow for a sense of urgency to motivate you to get the job done. Also, no matter what, Lynn always makes time to fit students in for lessons. She adjusts to fit schedules with the goals of her students always in mind.


"I started riding with Ms. Lynn when I was 11-years old. Mom took me for the first time when I still was not sure I wanted to ride Dressage. Now, I am 14-years old with my own FEI horse, and she carefully helps instill in me a fondness for dressage riding and training. She gives me an understanding that is on my level of horsemanship. I continue to rely on Ms. Lynn’s guidance as I start on my journey to earn the USDF medals. Any time North Star Training Center hosts awesome international trainers and clinicians, I try to take advantage of the opportunity to learn even more. Each winter when snow comes to my area, we pack up and go stay with Ms. Lynn, and train with her in the covered arena. We call it our ‘Florida North Dressage Intensive.’ Her expertise is a valuable tool that my mother uses to guide my progress."

Luna Barboza
Lynn cares about the progress you and your horse are making and will make in the future. She will absolutely push you to your full potential. She wants all of her students to excel. She knows her theory and will make sure you do, too. She always asks "why", either to you in a question to make sure you understand something, or for herself to get answers. She is supportive to an amazing degree and will bend over backwards to get you where you and your horse need to be. She does this through her knowledge and her own experience as a Grand Prix rider who moved up the levels herself, and by offering clinics for her students given by well-known clinicians throughout the year at her farm. She will challenge and encourage you at the same time, and she will make sure you have a plan in place. The amount of knowledge you will learn from Lynn will give you the resources to practice well on your own and make improvement. Lynn explains things in a very clear way that makes learning enjoyable and exciting, because you have those "aha" moments in a lesson that make you want to build upon that knowledge and also build on the feeling you get in the lesson. She will also help you develop your eye, which in turn helps you visualize and internalize what you should be striving for as a rider who influences the horse. She is an amazing teacher!

Karen Allred


Peace of mind is yours when you board your horse at NSTC. Lynn and her team run a first-class facility and training program that allows both horse and rider to feel comfortable and see their progress, both in the training and in the horse's health and care. 

At NSTC, the care is tailored to each horse, depending on their individual needs. At NSTC they go above and beyond the basic needs of the horse and extend the care and treatment to keep each horse as comfortable as possible; it's truly a horse's paradise. 

Lynn's passion for horses and dressage is manifested as she genuinely cares about each horse and rider that she takes under her wing-- she is one of the most dedicated horse enthusiasts and business women I know.

  Bonnie Efird  
After having spent an entire decade as a student in higher education (BA, BS, DVM) I am quite critical of an instructors ability to truly teach.  It is an art to be able to communicate the different nuances of dressage technique, feel and training tools. 

Lynn has a "toolbox" of training that is vast.  She has been able to effectively use that "toolbox" to help me work through a multitude of training obstacles as a true AA!  I have grown from being a "passive" rider on top of my mare to one that is in control of each ride and actually training my horse.  Through all this she has been patient, yet appropriately demanding to help me achieve my riding goals.  

In addition, Lynn has an absolutely amazing group of long time AA students that lend support, laughs, and commiseration during our active show season.  This "dressage family" has been a real bonus to all the sweat (and it's a lot on a hot southern summer day), tears, and money spent on this crazy passion of a hobby we call dressage!"

Laurie Weiser

Kathy Gubar

Kathy was “successful” in the competition world but she realized she was struggling with her harmony with Murano as she progressed up the levels.  Something was missing and out of whack in her training efforts with her horse.  Kathy had worked with several trainers over the years and also participated in many clinics with well-known clinicians.   She realized that the “picture” looked good, but true progress in the work was not happening.  After watching Lynn school her students at a show, she decided to give her a try.  

Lynn has helped her to truly get to the basics and re-build the communication between herself and her horse.  Through this process Murano has dramatically improved his muscle structure and fitness, and now listens and responds correctly to the aids.   It has been the trained eye and positive guiding methodology of Lynn’s teaching that has enabled Kathy to begin to see the way to progress to the FEI level with Murano.  She looks forward to reaching her goal of PSG before becoming a senior citizen!

Lynn has a lifetime of experience studying what it takes to score well in the Dressage arena. She continues to learn from top professionals to improve her own riding and teaching and strives to bring this knowledge to her students in an easy to understand manner. Lynn is on time to her lessons and gives her students her full attention when teaching. She is more than an instructor. She is a mentor. Lynn is serious about sharing her knowledge and skills and successfully creates winning horse and rider teams!

Melissa Deal
ARIA Certified Instructor
Connection Training Coach

"As a Jr/YR I was very successful at Training and First level with multiple horses. When the time came to make the move to Second level, the jump was hard. I couldn’t figure out why my scores were so low when I thought my horse and I had successfully completed the movements required. This was very disheartening because it didn’t happen on only one horse. 

When I came to NSTC in 2010, my dressage world was rocked! Lynn showed me all the (many) pieces that were missing in my training. With her kind, positive and lively teaching style she has opened my eyes to the true depths of this sport. There was so much more to learn, teach and achieve while in the saddle. I can ask questions without the fear of being laughed at or criticized for not knowing the answer. When something does not click, she will find a way to relate the issue by rewording or doing a demonstration herself. Every lesson has a purpose and the focus is completely on the student and their horse. Goals are set for each lesson, which includes homework, in order to achieve the “ah ha!” moments for next time.

I have learned so much and been able to relate it to both of my current horses in a short amount of time. Both horses are moving better than ever, and the proof is in the pudding with the scores I have received! I love my lessons and showing with Lynn. I am excited to continue learning something new in a positive and encouraging atmosphere at NSTC!”
    Catelin Brown
"Lynn has really helped me to think more as a trainer and not just a rider. The foundation work that we are laying is to train my horse to Grand Prix, not just the level that I am working on now. Lynn has really helped me to focus on the rideability of my horse, not just the movements or the exercises. My horse’s gaits have improved because of the new level of throughness, rideability and softness. 

Lynn helps to push me to that higher level of performance with my horse. I am able to gather those "moments" during my lessons so that I go home and work on them and strive to achieve more of those "moments" on my own. As a result, my scores have improved and we are continuing to move up the levels.

Bonnie Gibson
Lynn has completely changed my riding for the better.  When I began riding with her in 2007, I had been training mostly hunters and had plenty of experience riding dressage but not with the level of precision and feel that Lynn teaches.  She taught me how to ride the horse and not just ride the movements.  I've learned how to keep my horses supple, energetic, and happy as they progress up the levels.  Lynn is a great instructor and has been able to help me and give me wonderful suggestions with all the horses I have brought to her, which has been many.  The training program she teaches involves good basics and not cutting corners and you see real results with your horse after each lesson.  I love riding with Lynn!
Mary von Werne
A riding acquaintance recently asked me what it’s like to have a horse in training. She knew that I have two horses with Lynn at NSTC, so I guess she was really asking about what it’s like to train with Lynn. But I thought back to other trainers I’ve been with, and I had to say that training with Lynn is different (and better) than training has been for me when I’ve trained with other people.

Things that Lynn does:
•Teach each horse and rider, no matter how humble their beginning point is
•Help each horse and rider improve
•Analyze what's going on with each horse and rider
•Change the analysis when the situation changes
•Praise every accomplishment (no matter how small)
•Support each rider's adventure with dressage

•Stop when the horse or rider has had enough
•Communicate her own expertise effectively
•Develop a training schedule for each horse
•Follow up on each horse's work and progress
•Expose students to other excellent riders/coaches
•Show up on time for lessons (believe me, some trainers don't!)
•Stand by and supports her students at shows (ditto)
•Manage the barn effectively and efficiently, with the horses' interests as her top concern

Pat McDaniel

Things that Lynn doesn't do:
•Belittle horse or rider
•Say "why can't you do it?" with no further explanation of what to do
•Spend most of the lesson talking to other people
•Forget (?) to ride the horse when scheduled to do so
Lynn is one of the most sensitive-to-animals people I've ever met. My old horse adores her, my young horse loves and respects her, and my dogs throw themselves at her when she visits my house. I trust her completely with my animal treasures.
Her hospitality to me and to all her students is wonderful. I moved to North Carolina from the Boston area in 2002, didn't know a soul except for the people at work. Lynn welcomed me and my horse to her farm, and has made me feel like a new place is home, after a very short time. I will always value my experience at NSTC, Lynn's friendship, and all of the learning she has helped me to do.”

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